Today, another edition of Healthwatch, our monthly series of conversations with Dr. Leana Wen, the Health Commissioner of Baltimore City.
This year, more than 300 people have been victims of homicides in Baltimore, but nearly that number died of opioid overdoses in just the first six months of 2016. Congress has passed the 21st Century Cures Act, directing one billion dollars to target the national epidemic of opioid addiction and support new mental health research and treatment programs. How will that affect local efforts to help people caught in the grips of drug dependency? Dr. Wen -- the co-chair of a local group assembled to devise a comprehensive strategy, and a national leader in addressing this national dilemma -- discusses the outlook for curbing the opioid addiction epidemic.
Dr. Wen takes listener calls, tweets and emails during the conversation.
The segment concludes with Tom Hall's appreciation of some prominent Baltimoreans who passed on during 2016, whose contributions to the life of the city will be sorely missed.